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This Week In Music History (Slightly Tongue-In-Cheek)

American disc jockey and radio performer Alan Freed (1921 - 1965) who coined the term rock 'n' roll sits in a 1010 WINS sound studio during a radio broadcast, 1950s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

March 16, 1963:  Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Puff The Magic Dragon” is released in the U.S.

Although banned by some radio station managers who believed the song was about drugs, it’s “just the story about a little boy growing up”, according to its writer, Peter Yarrow, who clearly came up with the tale while on an acid trip.

Later it was discovered that Puff was in counseling for abandonment issues involving Jackie Paper.

March 16, 1964:  Alan Freed, who helped bring rock ‘n’ roll to the forefront, is charged with tax evasion stemming from a payola investigation, which ruined the D.J.’s career.

As a D.J. myself, I hereby admit to understanding the need for supplemental income in this business any way you can get it.

March 13, 1965:  Eric Clapton, who would later become a multiple-grammy award winner, three-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, and International Rock Superstar, quit the Yardbirds due to musical differences.  This was probably a “good move”.

March 13, 1971:  The L.A. duo, Brewer & Shipley, entered the Billboard Hot 100 with “One Toke Over The Line”.

Several radio stations banned the song for drug references.  And even though the song featured Jerry Garcia on steel guitar, Brewer & Shipley still insisted the word “toke” meant “token”, as in ticket, thus the line, “waitin’ downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line”.

I’ll let you know when I stop laughing.

March 14, 1972:  L.A. radio station KHJ is raided by police after calls from listeners.  D.J. Robert W. Morgan played Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love” over and over for 90 minutes.

Again, as a D.J. myself, I can attest to the fact that there’s a thin line between some D.J.’s staying sane and some D.J.’s playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall for 14 straight hours.

Not that I would know personally.

March 17, 1978:  Four Irish High School students who call themselves U2, win the Limerick Civic Week Pop ’78 Competition and get a chance to audition for CBS Ireland.

Other unnamed awards are apparently given to the kid who gave sight to a blind man in the audience and then fed the crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish.


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